Dereham golfer Andrew Marshall continues promising start to European Tour season after finishing 17th at Joburg Open
Andrew Marshall's promising start to the new European Tour season continued yesterday when he recorded an excellent tied 17th finish at the Joburg Open.
The Norfolk professional moved up to 25th position in the Race to Dubai standings after posting a final round of 68 to finish with a nine under par total of 278.
Marshall birdied four of his final five holes to surge up the leaderboard and secure a cheque for around �12,800 to go with the �3,900 he earned for a tied 47th finish in the previous week's Africa Open.
Having only won his European Tour card back in December it represents a highly satisfactory start to the season for the Dereham man, who set up yesterday's flying finish with a solid one under par round of 71 on Saturday.
South African's Branden Grace carded a level-par 72 in his final round to win the event and deny Jamie Elson what would have been a remarkable triumph.
Englishman Elson finished with a stunning nine-under-par 63 which gave him the clubhouse lead for much of the afternoon.
But his wait for a mistake from Grace proved in vain as the local player calmly parred his way to victory on Royal Johannesburg and Kensington's East Course.
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Grace, the joint overnight leader following a rain-shortened third day, ended up finishing the tournament on 17 under par, a shot clear of Elson and three in front of a group of six players on 14 under.
They were Scottish duo David Drysdale and Marc Warren, and South Africans Jaco Van Zyl, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Dawie Van der Walt and Michiel Bothma.
A victorious Grace said after claiming his maiden European Tour title: 'This is a dream come true, it's nice to win in front of my home crowd, I wouldn't change it for anything else.'
England's Richard Finch had been in contention for the opening three days but he had a Sunday to forget after completing his third round with a bogey five on the 17th before then falling away badly in his final round when he shot a six-over-par 78 to finish on eight under, one behind Marshall.